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ANT376 Lecture 3

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University of Toronto St. George
Hillary Cunningham

Lecture 3 What is 'animal'? / Animality January-23-14 12:06 PM Last week: Visuality of animals as a way of thinking of animals Human animal studies Relationships we have with animals Implicated ourselves by talking about engaging with animals, with moral Cat videos - youtube: "Funny cats" What is an animal? - Very much tied to humanity and what it means to be a human - History of human-animal divide - Where does this divide come from? The Little girl in a cat outfit - She will be the icon as we explore the notion of humanity and animality Dictionary definition (Mariam Webster) - What is an animal….? ○ A living thing that is not a human being or plant ○ Any living thing that is not a plant ○ A person who behaves in a wild, aggressive, or unpleasant way  If the human is an animal - then what kind of animal is it?  What is Animality? □ A quality or nature associated with animals (vitality = soul [key to Descarte's argument]; debates christian theologies argue) □ The animal nature of human beings  There is a descriptive qualities and characteristics of animals  Synonyms: carnality, physicality, sensuality, boorishness, coarseness, crudeness, grossness, loutishness, rudeness, barbarity, cruelty, savagery, viciousness, wantonness □ Historical contingency □ Colonialism (ideals coming from past) □ Barbarity and savagery and cruelty = below human, having human qualities, soul, rationality, evolution of ethics (ideas related to Descartes and the human soul) □ Wantonness = lacking self control (sexual matters) - often applied to women than men  Associations -  Raymond Williams - set of values and meanings can create a certain term and feeling that can create association Lectures Page 1  Raymond Williams - set of values and meanings can create a certain term and feeling that can create association with something Tree of life - Diversity - Book of genesis (Judeo-Christian tradition) how the world was created, Adam and Eve take central place - Great chain of being - Man is made in God's creation (in Judeo-Christian) ○ Dominion over other beings (reign / dominate/ authority /kingdom)  Instrumental / resource, dominion not only mean higher authority, but also for own personal use ○ Certain power and authority is attributed to the human (man) - Animals don't go to heaven? ○ They don't have souls? …. Some argue that they have temporary souls, when they die, their souls end. Unlike humans, who have a immortal soul Rene Descartes (1596-1650) -> ethics / humanity - Questions humanity - Cogito ergo sum = (means) "I think , therefore I am" - is Descartes argument of how we are human - Thinking man statue "The Thinker" (c. 1880) Auguste Rodio Le Penseur - Bonus question: piece of music - solo Tchaikovsky - Reason tattoo - Descartes is interested in the ethical reasoning of the human and rationality of humans ○ The ability to reason = distinctly human trait, not associated with
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